A Shift from Offline to Online: The Impact on Small Businesses

Kutubkhan Bohari | August 16, 2022 | 367 views | Read Time : 02:28 min

: A Shift from Offline to Onlin

Introduction

With the emergence of a global economy in recent years, e-commerce has gained massive prominence as a powerful catalyst for business expansion activities and developing a committed customer base. It is not at all surprising to see how e-commerce has revolutionized the small business sector.

The adoption of digital technology in the small business sector has fundamentally altered the interactions between businesses, customers, and the intermediaries who connect them. The use of online platforms has increased consumer participation while also lowering costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

Small businesses are rushing towards adopting online solutions to conduct business and tap into new markets. Even though e-commerce is already being used for advertising, business-to-business, and business-to-consumer transactions, it is expected to find new ways into the small business industry.  


How has E-commerce Transformed the Small Business Industry?

Over the past few years, e-commerce has expanded significantly. The adoption of e-commerce has made it easier and faster for small businesses to grow and establish new branches than ever before. It has also changed the way businesses interact with customers, resulting in the expansion of the economy. 

With the advent of the e-commerce industry, which offers numerous online shopping platforms, small and medium-sized businesses have reached new heights, driven by shifting consumer preferences towards a convenient shopping experience. This all demonstrates how advantageous e-commerce is for small businesses and how it will continue to create deeper inroads into the sector. The following is the impact of e-commerce adoption on small businesses:


Increase in Revenues

E-commerce assists small business owners in taking their business into regions that a traditional store would be unable to enter. Every small and medium-sized enterprise is constrained by its geographical location. The online transformation allows them to reach a broader audience, presumably anywhere around the world, and increase their overall sales and revenue. 


Decline in Marketing and Distribution Cost

There is no denying the fact that there is a significant rise in competition across all industries worldwide. Hence, small businesses are trying to draw in as many customers as possible to expand their business and get an edge over their rivals.

By adopting e-commerce practices, small and medium-sized businesses can drastically reduce their marketing expenses by eliminating the costs of massive offline advertisements, trade shows, and call centers, thereby reducing their spending. These savings can reduce their expenses by 60-80 percent.


Raise in Profit Margin

Implementing e-commerce techniques enables small business owners to leverage a third-party trading platform with minimal or no investment. They can host and design their own online storefront, as well as manage warehousing, packaging, and logistics. The reduction of these activities' overhead expenses significantly increases the profits of small and medium-sized enterprises.


Enhance the Customer Experience

Today, the customer is king in the competitive business world. E-commerce aids small businesses in enhancing the customer experience by optimizing after-sale services, providing faster responses to consumer inquiries, and offering an interactive and informative transaction process. This creates a strong and loyal customer base, which aids small businesses in the long run as these loyal customers act as powerful brand advocates.


The Verdict

There are numerous advantages for small and medium-sized businesses of having an e-commerce website. It not only saves time and effort but also shows the customers that they are prepared to meet their expanding demands. With the growing introduction of new e-commerce platforms, applications, software, and others with innovative features, a significant increase in the adoption of e-commerce solutions is expected to be witnessed across small businesses in the coming years.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

How to Choose the Right Small Business Accounting Software?

Article | November 26, 2021

Introduction With increasing complexities in financial management and migration towards digital technologies for accounting operations, advanced accounting solutions are gaining massive traction across the small business sector. Accounting software assists small businesses in enhancing their financial performance by providing higher accuracy, optimized payroll, automated transaction tracking, centralizing financial records, and others. However, it is crucial for small businesses to integrate the right accounting software as per their requirements to get the most out of the solutions. Since the market is full of numerous accounting solutions with different capabilities, selecting the one that is most suitable for your business can be overwhelming. So what are the factors that a small business owner should consider before looking for an accounting solution? Let’s see below. Select the Right Accounting Software: The Top 5 Primary Factors to Consider for Small Businesses Types of Software With multiple types of accounting software available, such as system software, application software, cloud-based software, and others, small business owners can opt for solutions that suit their operations and working style. If the owners operate in an on-the-go style, cloud-based software is best for them. But if the owners prefer to work from a single location, then the system software is appropriate for them. Learning Curve Until and unless small business owners are aware of the ins and outs of accounting software, using the software may seem complicated. As the high complexity of the solutions can result in costly errors, these owners should make sure that the learning curve for operating the software is not too steep. Features List Before small business owners start reviewing various types of accounting software platforms, they should take the time to brush up on the basics. It is crucial for the owners to make sure that the accounting solution has all the functionalities and features they need, such as inventory management, multi-currency support, payment processing, expense tracking, and others. They should also consider the add-on features that the solution provider can offer. Software Cost Accounting software varies in cost, depending on the number of users it supports, its tools and features, and other factors. The more specialized the software is, the more expensive it gets. Small business owners should compare prices between various accounting software providers and understand the exact amount and the process by which they will be charged. For instance, some of the companies charge standard monthly fees, while others have a single upfront cost with additional charges for add-on services. They should also find out if there are any hidden charges associated with the setup, customer support, and cloud storage. Customer Support A huge part of a reliable accounting solution is customer service. This is because small business owners need quick solutions and answers if they get stuck or have any questions related to the software. They do not want to be bounced around from representative to representative when reaching out for support. Thus, the owners should look for accounting software that offers excellent customer support and service. While selecting the solution, they should research and read customer testimonials about the software’s customer support. Begin Your Accounting the Right Way Efficient accounting is a crucial part of financial management, which involves tracking critical business activities such as accounts receivable and payable, invoicing and billing, bank reconciliation, reporting, and tax compliance, among others. It can be difficult for small businesses to get everything right, yet good accounting is fundamental for the company's growth and success. Choosing the correct accounting software is a crucial first step when getting started with the discipline. To get the most out of your accounting software, it is essential for small businesses to carefully consider their requirements, check the availability of features as per the requirements, and then select the accounting software that provides the capabilities they require for the greatest accounting experience.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting the Industry Needs Today?

Article | March 2, 2022

Introduction Every business owner wishes to become financially independent when starting a business. To achieve that, it is crucial for the owners to manage their finances in an efficient manner. When done wrong, financial management, which is supposed to make a company's budgeting processes more efficient, has led to the loss of funds in many cases. Without sound financial management, small businesses may struggle to meet their objectives and might even suffer losses that could push them into insolvency. Financial management assists businesses in maximizing their market share, minimizing capital expenditures, maintaining proper cash flow, and improving profits. Accounting software plays a significant role in proper financial management and has become a vital need for all businesses today. With a better understanding of the inefficiencies of manual bookkeeping and the increased chances of error in finance tracking, business owners are increasingly shifting from managing finances manually to leveraging innovative solutions, such as accounting software, to improve their financial management. Why Is Small Business Accounting Software a Need for the Industry Today? In the course of a typical day, there are numerous tasks and responsibilities that must be managed and accomplished by small businesses by the end of the day. From planning to managing finances and accounting, a small business owner's back is full of a plethora of day-to-day tasks. As a result, keeping track of every last detail is nearly impossible for them, especially in accounting, where keeping track of every transaction is critical for managing business operations. Accurate and reliable accounting management is critical for small businesses and start-ups to ensure stable cash flow. As accounting software helps small business owners keep track of every single transaction along with other benefits, such as managing business finances, understanding profitability, and preparing tax statements, among others, it is becoming a necessity for small business financial management. Here are some of the other reasons why small business accounting software is becoming a necessity in the industry. Overcoming Manual Records With the growing number of transactions in the small business sector, it is becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to track and record income and expense data. As accounting software assists these owners to overcome manual work by recording the data directly into the page in real time and keeping a daily update of all the transactions, it is increasingly being sought by small businesses. Ease in Maintaining Transaction Due to the increasing customer inclination towards the adoption of digital payment solutions, small businesses are encountering numerous obstacles in maintaining all transactions from different online portals. Accounting software helps businesses leverage the bank feed feature to connect credit card accounts and the business bank, thereby centralizing and maintaining all transactional data in one place. Preparation of Reports and Financial Statements Keeping track of all small and large transactions and preparing financial statements, such as profit and loss statements and balance sheets, of these transactions manually is a tedious task and prone to errors. Accounting software automates the preparation of these financial statements and allows comparing transaction activity from prior months and years. As a result, it is increasingly gaining acceptance among small business owners. Increases Efficiency Accounting software allows small businesses to manage invoices and expenses, prepare for taxation, and keep tabs on all the financials, including payments, bad debts, upcoming dues, employee salaries, and others. Delegating all these financial management responsibilities to accounting software enables small business owners to focus on tasks that require their undivided attention, thereby boosting business efficiency. Bottom Line Regardless of the size of the business, every company strives to optimize its financial management, improve efficiencies, minimize costs, and simplify complex and tedious tasks. Accounting software can help small business owners achieve these objectives, along with eliminating time-consuming manual processes and redundancies, by automating accounting practices. Following this, the growing introduction of advanced cloud-based accounting software capable of providing real-time data access to business owners from anywhere at any time and on any device is expected to change the ways accounting is done in the small business industry in the coming years.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

How Are Small Business Accounting Software Meeting Industry Needs Today?

Article | February 10, 2022

Introduction With numerous tasks and operations to take care of, from basic invoicing and billing to project management and tax calculations, small business owners find it a nerve-wracking challenge to keep track of all monetary transactions and manage accounts payable. In addition, the advent of digitization, the growing penetration of cloud-based solutions in the industry, and the introduction of cutting-edge accounting software, among others, are eliminating the extra use of paper, pens, files, and voluminous binders. Because of these small business financing trends, businesses and start-ups are increasingly inclined toward online financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, to handle their financial data. The small business accounting software assists them in examining their financial condition along with accurately recording businesses’ cash flow, generating reports, tracking transactions, monitoring account balances, billing customers, creating purchase orders, and much more. Owing to such compelling features, these small business financial management solutions are garnering massive popularity in the industry. Small Business Accounting Software: Emerging Financial Needs in the Industry Running a small business sometimes entails wearing several hats, such as sending emails, paying suppliers, invoicing, creating processes, and preparing financial reports. All these are essential tasks, along with the other small business operations, such as employee management and work management, among others. None of the additional responsibilities faced by small business owners are as crucial as accounting. Robust accounting processes are vital for keeping businesses in excellent financial condition and helping owners to make smarter decisions. Accounting software provides various features that can facilitate the smooth operation of the organization. From processing invoices to monitoring cash flow, here are the primary ways accounting software can assist owners to meet financial requirements for small businesses and promote growth. Automate Invoicing and Billing Due to the shortage of cash inflow, it is vital for small businesses to keep the cash flowing by billing clients and crediting customers on time. Accounting software assists small businesses in automating the billing process, enabling owners to create recurring invoices, send follow-up reminders, and accept digital payments directly from the invoices. It also assists in tracking all unpaid invoices and preventing accidental missing payments, thereby fending off potential losses. Expense Tracking A common accounting mistake that small businesses often make is failing to accurately track business costs and expenses, which causes a shortage of cash flow. The deployment of the right small business accounting software prevents this from happening and enables firms to keep track of all the spending and identify the source where the money is being spent. Efficient Inventory Management Proper inventory management is a crucial part of small businesses as they cannot stock products in large quantities due to the unavailability of a large amount of capital. Good inventory management is necessary to guarantee an adequate supply and deliver superior customer service. Accounting software aids small businesses in recording stock keeping unit (SKU) codes, monitoring goods, preparing reports, tracking products sold, and running reports on which items firms are doing well and which ones aren’t. Bank Reconciliation Small business accounting solutions simplify one of the most fundamental tasks of the company—bank reconciliation. It enables small business owners to access their bank statements directly from the accounting solutions, along with comparing bank statements, balancing debits and credits, and identifying any discrepancies at the end of each financial period. The Final Thought Maintaining correct financial records at all times is essential for the success of small businesses and start-ups. For maintaining proper accounts, these businesses need a system that overcomes the drawbacks of traditional accounting tools such as spreadsheets. With the introduction of novel accounting software integrated with artificial intelligence, big data, and other technologies, these financial management solutions are paving the way for small businesses.

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SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

Small Business Financial Management: One-Stop Solution for Financial Hurdles

Article | September 23, 2022

Introduction Managing finances is crucial for organizations, especially small businesses, to create a stable financial future in which the business is less likely to fail. Small businesses and start-up companies have to face numerous challenges and even bear losses at their introductory stage due to the difficulties in maintaining proper cash flow. According to a study, around 61% of small business owners say that they face challenges in handling consistent and steady cash flow. Many start-ups undertake operational business activities after obtaining loans from different financial institutions due to insufficient cash flow and capital. Hence, to keep small business operations running smoothly, they need to optimize the inflow and outflow of cash and financial management. Small business financial management assists these start-up companies in reducing financial costs, facilitating the availability of investment, and planning, organizing, directing, and controlling financial activities. With competition intensifying in the sector, the need for financial management is becoming even more critical for small businesses. Why Are Financial Management Solutions Becoming Imperative for Small Businesses? Running a small business is not an easy task. Even if you have a great idea and a large number of people longing for your product or service, the financial difficulties of operating a small business can quickly escalate and hamper the business. A plethora of expected and unexpected issues, such as overhead costs, rising interest or inflation rates, impending tax deadlines, remediating damage from a natural disaster, and many more, can create insurmountable obstacles for small business owners. Whether it is insufficient cash flow or a lack of accurate monthly reconciliation reports, many small business finance-related issues can be avoided with the proper management of finance and reporting. What are the other small business money management challenges that financial management solutions can assist to overcome? Let's see: Poor cash flow management Managing a budget Planning future expenses Controlling debt Inconsistent cash flow Tips for Effective Small Business Financial Management Small businesses today are highly fragile due to excessive competition in the industry. Hence, start-ups and new companies have to invest a significant amount of money in order to keep their business fully functional and running. Right from accumulating funds to allocating and spending them, it is crucial for small business owners to have a transparent view of their financial position and business undertakings to engage in planning for efficient utilization of available resources. Effective financial management not only assists in managing small businesses' finance and rotating the cash invested in the business, but it also assists in analyzing revenue generation, formulating suitable financial strategies, and calculating adequate returns, among others. It is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of businesses, irrespective of their size. With an increasing need for managing huge funds, continuous transactions, daily cash flow, payrolls, and others, it is becoming even more critical for small businesses and start-ups to manage their finances effectively. Here are some of the vital tips that can help small businesses analyze and manage their finance effectively: Prioritize business financial planning Create a budget and stick to it Analyze cash flow Keep business and personal finances separate Focus on expenditures but also ROI Monitor spending Opt for a financial solution or service Final Thoughts With the fast-changing financial requirements of small businesses and the emergence of novel small business financing trends, entrepreneurs are emphasizing streamlining and managing their financial chores. To overcome a growing number of financial obstacles, leading financial solution developers are aiming at integrating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics in novel small business financial management solutions. This is anticipated to create a strong demand for innovative financial management tools, such as small business accounting software, across the industry in the forthcoming years.

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Spotlight

V&C Fashion & Retail Specialists

V&C are Fashion & Retail specialists operating in the shop fitting, digital and fashion sectors across four continents. Our clients are exciting: global brands, international manufacturers, high street retailers and major department stores plus some of the most dynamic start-ups in our industry.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Lenovo Partners with Queen Latifah for Small Business Evolution

Lenovo | October 17, 2022

Lenovo announced that Grammy and Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated, actress, producer, recording artist, label president and entrepreneur, Queen Latifah will be the face and partner for this year’s iteration of the global technology powerhouse’s Evolve Small initiative. Built to champion and promote small businesses, Evolve Small provides financial aid, technological resources, community support, and business mentorship to small businesses across North America. With the help of Queen Latifah, the program will enhance the benefits offered to participants this year by providing those selected with the opportunity to leverage customized marketing materials to promote their businesses – featuring none other than the Queen herself. Selected participants will also be eligible for personalized mentorship sessions with Queen Latifah, as well as with Lenovo’s expert squad of Evolve Small Ambassadors. “It is such an honor to have Queen Latifah as our Evolve Small ambassador this year, Given our mission to help small businesses evolve, finding a partner who exemplified smart business acumen and an affinity for philanthropy was paramount to making sure this initiative would truly make an impact. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and with Queen Latifah as our partner, we look forward to supporting small businesses across North America.” Gerald Youngblood, chief marketing officer, Lenovo North America Speaking on her new brand ambassadorship, Queen Latifah shared, “I understand the hardships small businesses face and how much more challenging those hardships can be for businesses owned by women and minorities. Knowing how the support I received back when I got started helped me get to where I am today I’m excited to pay it forward and help others along the way through this partnership with Lenovo’s Evolve Small initiative. As part of Evolve Small, Lenovo and Microsoft are hosting a contest where businesses with fewer than 100 employees can submit a 30-second-to-two-minute video pitching their business for a chance to win a $30,000 cash grant, $10,000 in Lenovo technology upgrades, and a mentorship session with Queen Latifah. There will be three grand prize winners and four runner-up winners. Each of the four runner-up winners will receive a $5,000 cash grant and one $5,000 package of Lenovo tech and solutions. Lenovo will begin accepting submissions on October 13, 2022, at Lenovo.com/EvolveSmall and the application process ends November 15, 2022. Launched last summer, the inaugural Evolve Small program provided over $1,000,000 worth of grants and technology donations to minority-owned small businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Acknowledging the hardships small businesses continue to face amid the current economic landscape, Evolve Small builds upon last year’s success with a primary focus on minority and woman-owned businesses – all in an effort to spotlight local community gems and encourage consumers and tourists to “visit and shop small.” With a mission to help small businesses enhance their day-to-day operations and scale upwards, Lenovo and partner AMD are also partnering with Goodie Nation, an entrepreneurship and community building non-profit organization, to expand the reach of the program and provide additional grants. About Lenovo Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$70 billion revenue global technology powerhouse, ranked #171 in the Fortune Global 500, employing 75,000 people around the world, and serving millions of customers every day in 180 markets. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, Lenovo has built on its success as the world’s largest PC company by further expanding into key growth areas including server, storage, mobile, solutions and services. This transformation together with Lenovo’s world-changing innovation is building a more inclusive, trustworthy, and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com, and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.

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MARKETING AND NETWORKING

GPS Insight Continues to Enhance Fleet + Field Offering Across Small Business, Franchise, and Mid-Enterprise Customers

GPS Insight | December 01, 2022

GPS Insight, a leading provider of SaaS-based fleet and field service management software solutions, today announced enhancements to its integrated Field Service Management (FSM) suite, marking significant strides towards the empowerment of both fleet and field service companies to seamlessly manage their mobile assets and mobile workforces together. Strengthening its position in an FSM market expected to grow 19% annually over the next eight years, GPS Insight laid the foundation for its integrated Field Service Management solution with the 2020 acquisition of ServiceBridge and the 2021 acquisition of FieldAware. Just recently, GPS Insight also acquired Certified Tracking Solutions, a leader in fleet and field services specializing in document digitization. Following recent FSM acquisitions, GPS Insight has demonstrated its value to fleet and field service industries at large through a list of accolades, including the Compass Intelligence 2022 IoT Vehicle Telematics Company of the Year, the Business Intelligence Group 2022 Sustainability Leadership Award, and being named a Construction Executive 2022 Top Construction Technology Firm. "By acquiring existing best-in-class field service solutions and integrating them with our GPS fleet management technology, we're able to bring better visibility and efficiency for our customers to save them time and money, We've created a powerful roadmap that empowers our end-users while boosting our return on investment for both platforms. In short, GPS Insight is bringing fleet and field together like never before." Shay Demmons, Chief Product Officer of GPS Insight. The Field Service Management suite is being tailored to integrate with GPS Insight fleet management, empowering business leaders to ensure alignment among workers across both fleet and field. Significant product enhancements that support the synergy of fleet and field service management include: an app switcher to toggle between fleet and field applications; ability to schedule jobs based on technician working hours, skills, permits, etc.; long cycle crew work such as multi-visit jobs; a live map for a "command center" view of field operations; timesheets showing jobs performed, hours worked, hours traveled, and overtime earned; and to help businesses scale, a rich ecosystem of integrations with best-in-class ERP and accounting applications. In addition to significant product updates across the Field Service Management Suite, FieldAware for Mid-Enterprise is featuring a facelift, modernizing the web app to follow best-in-class practices for displaying menus and options, refreshing web and mobile app branding to align with parent GPS Insight's robust fleet and field portfolio, and paving the way for the future of fleet and field. Effective field service management software is transforming industries, reducing errors and redundant tasks, and giving fleet managers, field technicians, and back-office operations peace of mind," added Demmons. "Companies of all sizes now see the value in digitizing operations to keep up with the competition, as well as the leap in efficiency that creates a better customer experience and boosts retention. About GPS Insight GPS Insight helps fleet and field service businesses by delivering innovative solutions and actionable insights. Organizations across the globe turn to GPS Insight when they have high operating costs, are worried about safety on the roads, and struggle with fleet and field inefficiencies that waste valuable time and money. GPS Insight offers best-of-breed technology for organizations with drivers and technicians in the field, fleets of vehicles, trailers, and other mobile assets. GPS Insight provides many solutions that include vehicle and asset tracking, fleet management, AI-enabled smart cameras, field service management, and regulatory compliance solutions.

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MANAGEMENT

Alaska Communications expands fiber internet to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna

Alaska Communications | December 02, 2022

For Anchorage bed and breakfast owner Kathryn Deal, having slow internet is a matter of having guests or no guests .Oftentimes, the first thing guests ask when they’re checking in is, ‘what’s your Wi-Fi password,’” said Deal. “Even when people are on vacation, they need reliable connectivity. It’s important to my business and my guests. My new fiber service has been a game-changer. Like small business owners, families need fast, reliable and affordable broadband to keep up with today’s demands. That’s why Alaska Communications is delivering the fastest home internet speeds in three communities with Alaska Communications Fiber. Using cutting-edge fiber optic technology, the broadband provider is leading the way in how fiber is delivered to end users. The company’s new broadband internet product is 100% fiber to the premise, delivering ultra-low latency, symmetric 2.5 gigabit per second connectivity directly to homes and businesses. Unlike cable modem networks commonly used to deliver high-speed internet to most urban Alaska homes, fiber-to-the-home greatly simplifies service delivery. Alaska Communications’ fiber-based broadband transmit faster symmetrical internet speeds with lower latency and higher reliability than cable modem providers.Some of our guests are surprised that we have fiber in Alaska – the latest technology,” said Deal. “The future is fiber and that’s our focus, The way people use the internet has fundamentally changed. This means that the way the internet is delivered also needs to change. Faster speeds, lower latency and higher reliability along with more choices – that’s what we’re bringing to our community in Alaska.” Mark Ayers, chief technology officer at Alaska Communications. Select neighborhoods in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna are eligible for service this year, with additional neighborhoods and communities planned for future years. To check if your home or business is eligible to receive fiber-to-the-home service, About Alaska Communications Alaska Communications, an affiliate of ATN International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATNI), is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S.

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SMALL BUSINESS TRENDS

Lenovo Partners with Queen Latifah for Small Business Evolution

Lenovo | October 17, 2022

Lenovo announced that Grammy and Emmy Award-winning and Oscar nominated, actress, producer, recording artist, label president and entrepreneur, Queen Latifah will be the face and partner for this year’s iteration of the global technology powerhouse’s Evolve Small initiative. Built to champion and promote small businesses, Evolve Small provides financial aid, technological resources, community support, and business mentorship to small businesses across North America. With the help of Queen Latifah, the program will enhance the benefits offered to participants this year by providing those selected with the opportunity to leverage customized marketing materials to promote their businesses – featuring none other than the Queen herself. Selected participants will also be eligible for personalized mentorship sessions with Queen Latifah, as well as with Lenovo’s expert squad of Evolve Small Ambassadors. “It is such an honor to have Queen Latifah as our Evolve Small ambassador this year, Given our mission to help small businesses evolve, finding a partner who exemplified smart business acumen and an affinity for philanthropy was paramount to making sure this initiative would truly make an impact. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and with Queen Latifah as our partner, we look forward to supporting small businesses across North America.” Gerald Youngblood, chief marketing officer, Lenovo North America Speaking on her new brand ambassadorship, Queen Latifah shared, “I understand the hardships small businesses face and how much more challenging those hardships can be for businesses owned by women and minorities. Knowing how the support I received back when I got started helped me get to where I am today I’m excited to pay it forward and help others along the way through this partnership with Lenovo’s Evolve Small initiative. As part of Evolve Small, Lenovo and Microsoft are hosting a contest where businesses with fewer than 100 employees can submit a 30-second-to-two-minute video pitching their business for a chance to win a $30,000 cash grant, $10,000 in Lenovo technology upgrades, and a mentorship session with Queen Latifah. There will be three grand prize winners and four runner-up winners. Each of the four runner-up winners will receive a $5,000 cash grant and one $5,000 package of Lenovo tech and solutions. Lenovo will begin accepting submissions on October 13, 2022, at Lenovo.com/EvolveSmall and the application process ends November 15, 2022. Launched last summer, the inaugural Evolve Small program provided over $1,000,000 worth of grants and technology donations to minority-owned small businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Acknowledging the hardships small businesses continue to face amid the current economic landscape, Evolve Small builds upon last year’s success with a primary focus on minority and woman-owned businesses – all in an effort to spotlight local community gems and encourage consumers and tourists to “visit and shop small.” With a mission to help small businesses enhance their day-to-day operations and scale upwards, Lenovo and partner AMD are also partnering with Goodie Nation, an entrepreneurship and community building non-profit organization, to expand the reach of the program and provide additional grants. About Lenovo Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$70 billion revenue global technology powerhouse, ranked #171 in the Fortune Global 500, employing 75,000 people around the world, and serving millions of customers every day in 180 markets. Focused on a bold vision to deliver smarter technology for all, Lenovo has built on its success as the world’s largest PC company by further expanding into key growth areas including server, storage, mobile, solutions and services. This transformation together with Lenovo’s world-changing innovation is building a more inclusive, trustworthy, and sustainable digital society for everyone, everywhere. To find out more visit https://www.lenovo.com, and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.

Read More

MARKETING AND NETWORKING

GPS Insight Continues to Enhance Fleet + Field Offering Across Small Business, Franchise, and Mid-Enterprise Customers

GPS Insight | December 01, 2022

GPS Insight, a leading provider of SaaS-based fleet and field service management software solutions, today announced enhancements to its integrated Field Service Management (FSM) suite, marking significant strides towards the empowerment of both fleet and field service companies to seamlessly manage their mobile assets and mobile workforces together. Strengthening its position in an FSM market expected to grow 19% annually over the next eight years, GPS Insight laid the foundation for its integrated Field Service Management solution with the 2020 acquisition of ServiceBridge and the 2021 acquisition of FieldAware. Just recently, GPS Insight also acquired Certified Tracking Solutions, a leader in fleet and field services specializing in document digitization. Following recent FSM acquisitions, GPS Insight has demonstrated its value to fleet and field service industries at large through a list of accolades, including the Compass Intelligence 2022 IoT Vehicle Telematics Company of the Year, the Business Intelligence Group 2022 Sustainability Leadership Award, and being named a Construction Executive 2022 Top Construction Technology Firm. "By acquiring existing best-in-class field service solutions and integrating them with our GPS fleet management technology, we're able to bring better visibility and efficiency for our customers to save them time and money, We've created a powerful roadmap that empowers our end-users while boosting our return on investment for both platforms. In short, GPS Insight is bringing fleet and field together like never before." Shay Demmons, Chief Product Officer of GPS Insight. The Field Service Management suite is being tailored to integrate with GPS Insight fleet management, empowering business leaders to ensure alignment among workers across both fleet and field. Significant product enhancements that support the synergy of fleet and field service management include: an app switcher to toggle between fleet and field applications; ability to schedule jobs based on technician working hours, skills, permits, etc.; long cycle crew work such as multi-visit jobs; a live map for a "command center" view of field operations; timesheets showing jobs performed, hours worked, hours traveled, and overtime earned; and to help businesses scale, a rich ecosystem of integrations with best-in-class ERP and accounting applications. In addition to significant product updates across the Field Service Management Suite, FieldAware for Mid-Enterprise is featuring a facelift, modernizing the web app to follow best-in-class practices for displaying menus and options, refreshing web and mobile app branding to align with parent GPS Insight's robust fleet and field portfolio, and paving the way for the future of fleet and field. Effective field service management software is transforming industries, reducing errors and redundant tasks, and giving fleet managers, field technicians, and back-office operations peace of mind," added Demmons. "Companies of all sizes now see the value in digitizing operations to keep up with the competition, as well as the leap in efficiency that creates a better customer experience and boosts retention. About GPS Insight GPS Insight helps fleet and field service businesses by delivering innovative solutions and actionable insights. Organizations across the globe turn to GPS Insight when they have high operating costs, are worried about safety on the roads, and struggle with fleet and field inefficiencies that waste valuable time and money. GPS Insight offers best-of-breed technology for organizations with drivers and technicians in the field, fleets of vehicles, trailers, and other mobile assets. GPS Insight provides many solutions that include vehicle and asset tracking, fleet management, AI-enabled smart cameras, field service management, and regulatory compliance solutions.

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MANAGEMENT

Alaska Communications expands fiber internet to Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna

Alaska Communications | December 02, 2022

For Anchorage bed and breakfast owner Kathryn Deal, having slow internet is a matter of having guests or no guests .Oftentimes, the first thing guests ask when they’re checking in is, ‘what’s your Wi-Fi password,’” said Deal. “Even when people are on vacation, they need reliable connectivity. It’s important to my business and my guests. My new fiber service has been a game-changer. Like small business owners, families need fast, reliable and affordable broadband to keep up with today’s demands. That’s why Alaska Communications is delivering the fastest home internet speeds in three communities with Alaska Communications Fiber. Using cutting-edge fiber optic technology, the broadband provider is leading the way in how fiber is delivered to end users. The company’s new broadband internet product is 100% fiber to the premise, delivering ultra-low latency, symmetric 2.5 gigabit per second connectivity directly to homes and businesses. Unlike cable modem networks commonly used to deliver high-speed internet to most urban Alaska homes, fiber-to-the-home greatly simplifies service delivery. Alaska Communications’ fiber-based broadband transmit faster symmetrical internet speeds with lower latency and higher reliability than cable modem providers.Some of our guests are surprised that we have fiber in Alaska – the latest technology,” said Deal. “The future is fiber and that’s our focus, The way people use the internet has fundamentally changed. This means that the way the internet is delivered also needs to change. Faster speeds, lower latency and higher reliability along with more choices – that’s what we’re bringing to our community in Alaska.” Mark Ayers, chief technology officer at Alaska Communications. Select neighborhoods in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Soldotna are eligible for service this year, with additional neighborhoods and communities planned for future years. To check if your home or business is eligible to receive fiber-to-the-home service, About Alaska Communications Alaska Communications, an affiliate of ATN International, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATNI), is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S.

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